Three days after tea party leader Mark Mayfield shot and killed himself in the garage of his Ridgeland home, Democrats and Republicans are expressing kind words for the 57 year-old husband and father of two sons.
“He's a friend, a very competent lawyer…a Christian man with deep-seeded values in politics,” said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
“I knew him from the time he first started practicing law, his office was around corner from mine and we got to know each other that way and we remained friendly all that time," Democratic state representative Cecil Brown.
In the last month of his life, Mayfield, a politically-active attorney, found himself in legal trouble.
During the heated Republican Senate primary race, Mayfield was arrested on conspiracy charges in connection with indecent photos taken of Senator Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife inside her Madison nursing home.
His attorney believes Mayfield's arrest was politically motivated. Others say the episode left him ashamed, embarrassed and with nothing left to live for.
“We wish he'd called and talk to anybody,” Hosemann told us.
According to a Friday Facebook post by his wife Robin, Mayfield had no history of mental illness or depression that may of lead him to take his own life.
“I'd rather focus on Mark and his family I don't think it's helpful to try to figure out what was in his mind and why he did what he did it was an incredibly sad thing,” Brown added.
We’ve also learned that Madison police officers visited Mayfield’s home after he killed himself.
“Investigators with the Madison Police Department responded to the residence and met with members of the Ridgeland Police Department command staff to confirm the identity of the deceased,” Madison Asst. Chief of Police Robert Sanders said in a statement. “Once the identity was confirmed they departed and returned to the city. The identity of the deceased was pertinent to the ongoing investigation and they were simply following up as they would with any other case that led them to another jurisdiction.”
And according to a clarionledger.com report, Mayfield’s family may file a lawsuit against Madison police for what some call heavy-handed tactics they used when Mayfield was taken into custody at his law office.